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EZULWINI – The Deputy Prime Minister, Paul Dlamini, has called on the National Football Association of Swaziland (NFAS) to build a soccer stadium.

Dlamini spoke yesterday during the launch of a new sponsorship for the premier League by MTN Swaziland to the tune of E18 million. Dlamini said while government recognised the Football Association’s (FA) efforts to develop football in the country, the time has come for the association to build a stadium with facilities to further enhance their product.

“The FA needs a proper facility to develop players and this requires an investment in a proper facility that will support this. Both the Premier League of Swaziland (PLS) and the FA have the responsibility to build facilities,” he said.

It could not be ascertained whether the DPM’s comments were influenced by the large sums of money that were dangled by the World Cup bids from Morocco and the United States, or the sponsorship from MTN, but he was emphatic in his address.
“We welcome and appreciate the sponsorship from MTN, and hope that teams will recognise the sacrifice MTN has done in sponsoring football. In football you start small and grow over time. We have seen this in other countries, and hope that one day we will also reach those levels,” he said.

Dlamini added that His Majesty King Mswati III’s vision of a developed Kingdom of Eswatini in 2022 covered all spheres.
“Government created the Ministry of Sports, Culture, and Youth Affairs in order to play a meaningful role in the development of sports by creating an enabling environment to address socio-economic challenges. When we see companies like MTN partnering with sports in the manner they have done over the last 15 years, we realise that they are indeed a partner of choice,” he said.

Ending, Dlamini pointed out that the time had come for the Kingdom of Eswatini to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations, because the country had the potential to produce talented and skilled soccer players.

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